Biography

Composer Sid Richardson (b. 1987) writes concert music that imbues modern idioms with emotional grit and cerebral wit. His work explores the intersections of music and literature, drawing inspiration from the works of such writers as Beckett, Catullus, Céline, Chaucer, Garréta, Longfellow, Keats, Rimbaud, and Mackey, to create a style that focuses on harmony and timbre. Preexisting texts are used to create a metaphorical resonance with the source material in pieces that weave literary elements into their formal, rhythmic, and harmonic structures. Sid collaborated with poet Nathaniel Mackey on a setting of selections of Mackey’s sixth collection of poems, Blue Fasa, which would become Red Wind, the cornerstone of Sid’s doctoral dissertation. The work was realized at Duke University in 2017 with Mackey reading his poetry alongside members of Deviant Septet and soprano Mellissa Hughes. The project informed the two other compositions in Sid’s dissertation portfolio: Bass Cathedral for Clarinet and Wind Ensemble, based on Mackey’s novel of the same name, and Red Wind (Desert Remix) for generative software, which presents Red Wind in a generative media environment that is dynamic and fluid.

Sid has collaborated on compositions with artists such as Alsarah & the Nubatones, Amarcord, Branford Marsalis, Bill Seaman, Conrad Tao, Susan Fancher, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Del Sol Quartet, Deviant Septet, Durham Medical Orchestra, Heimat Quartet, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, and yMusic. He has a special predilection for violin music, and has been fortunate to work with a variety of violinists including Lilit Hartunian, Sarah Griffin, Sarah Plum, Charlotte Munn-Wood, and Misha Vayman. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Sid recently completed his PhD in the Department of Music at Duke University. He holds degrees from Boston Conservatory, Tufts University, and Duke University. Sid has participated in artist residencies at Crosstown Arts and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In 2017, The American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded Sid a Charles Ives Scholarship. He was the recipient of the 2018 Hermitage Prize from the Aspen Music Festival and School.